Emma Watson surely surprised the audience at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles on Thursday when she dedicated her Britannia Award to her late hamster Millie.
Watson, who rose to fame as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series of films, won the Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year.
A graduate of Brown University and a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador, Watson was honored in a video shown at the BAFTA Award ceremony by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and director Alfonso Cuaron.
“That was really overwhelming for me to watch,” said Watson, trying to hold back tears. She added that the British film industry “hasn’t just been a workplace for me — it was where I grew up.”
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The 24-year-old actress told the audience the story of her pet hamster Millie’s death during production of the first Harry Potter film and how the production team took care of the young actress.
“On the first Harry Potter film, my on-set hamster Millie had a heart attack and didn’t quite make it,” Watson said. “The set decorators built a small mahogany hamster-sized coffin and it had a velvet lining [and] a silver plaque on front which had Millie’s named engraved in it.
“Rest in peace, Millie. This one’s for you,” she said.
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Other winners included Robert Downey Jr., who won the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film; Julia Louis Dreyfus , who won the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy; Mark Ruffalo, who won the Britannia Humanitarian Award; Dame Judi Dench, who won the Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment; and Mike Leigh, who won the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing.